Tag Archives: Traditions

Why do some cops in big cities like New York still use horses?

Horses offer a number of benefits in city environments that make them an ideal partner in many situations. They allow a rider to sit up high for a better view of what’s going on.

They can turn around or maneuver in tighter spaces than a car could. They are used where a car just wouldn’t be practical, like a wilderness areas or a very large grassy park, for example, Central Park in New York.

Horses are great for dealing with crowds as well, because they’re big animals and if they push you, you’re going to move. There’s also a bit of natural fear that humans have of a big animal that may trample them, so people tend to respect a horse much more than they respect a police car. Adding to that, some people won’t think twice about smashing a cop car window, but it’s a whole different story if you’re attacking an animal. Especially if that animal can fight back.

Why are lots of movies released on the same day?

The answer to this is pretty simple. Ticket sales on weekdays are second to none compared to anything from Friday to Sunday. It’s way more profitable to have a movie be released on Thursdays or Fridays so that they can make the most money with the initial hype. It’s just ideal, and opening weekends are the biggest way a movie’s success is gauged.

As for why there seems to be a lot on specific days and the releases aren’t more spread out, is because specific times of the year are big hotspots for ticket sales. For example, the movie IT was the highest selling movie in any September ever. This is majorly due to the fact that not many big producers would have their movie be released in September. The most popular times of the year are most of summer and anytime near Christmas.

It could also be that certain weekends are picked over others because companies have other movies coming out after that and don’t want to force movie goers to pick between their own movies. A staggered release date for one particular producer would alleviate movie cannibalism.

When did “Hands up!” become “Hands behind your head!”?

When it was realized that ‘behind your head’ takes a lot less effort to do, so can be held for longer periods.

As an example, try standing on both positions and see which is most comfortable to hold for longer.

So if someone were to be told to stand with their hands above their head, after a short while they will tire and their arms will begin to drop, which to the police could be either fatigue, but also starting to reach for a weapon. Behind your head can be held comfortably a lot longer, so unwanted movement is a lot more obvious.

Why are coins historically round and not square?

There’s quite a few reasons relating to different time periods, but interestingly there are actually several examples of square-shaped coins.

The most obvious reason is ease of use, so to say. It is easy to pick up round coins and scoop them up, put them into tightly packed bags, etc, without any worry of corners causing issues.

Then there’s the fact that coins are intended to be hard wearing and semi-permanent, since there are coins likely older than you or me still in circulation. A round shape is less likely to wear down unevenly since no one part of it sticks out further than the rest from any angle.

A little historically, a lot of coins were made by pressing down a small ingot with a pre-made stamp. This typically forces the metal into a rounded shape anyway and means less work to finish the coin – and coins had to exist in relatively large quantities.

In a modern day setting, arguably cutting coins into squares from a metal sheet would be more efficient, but it’s not too much extra work to take the leftover metal and melt it down to use in the next batch. A key modern reason for rounded coins is that round coins are convenient for transport within vending machines, etc, since they will roll easily.

Why do Asian tourists in the West wear medical face masks?

In Japan (and most likely some other East Asian countries), it is considered polite to cover your mouth and nose when you have a cold or are ill in some way. This is to prevent the sick person from breathing/sneezing/coughing on and infecting other people. They may also use masks to prevent themselves from catching viruses from other people, when out in public.

When tourists from the countries where this is normal practice go to the West, they often bring this custom with them as it is a cultural norm for them.

Why do Americans celebrate Columbus Day despite Columbus never setting foot in their country?

Columbus is often credited with establishing European contact with the Americas as a whole, even though he didn’t discover the region or set foot in what is now the USA.

Columbus Day was largely pushed on Americans by Catholics (and some protestants) who recognize Columbus as a key figure in the worldwide spread of Christianity.  He is also celebrated by Italian-Americans of which there are many.

Generally, Americans “celebrating Columbus Day” just means they take the day off.  People don’t really celebrate Columbus outside of specific communities which are largely Catholic and/or Italian.  Some states don’t even officially recognize Columbus day.

Why do most societies have two-name system?

Family is a big part of almost every culture, because of our instinct to have kids and support them and ensure that our genes get passed down. We have a natural desire to make sure our kids do well, so they can have kids and pass down their genes, thus ensuring the survival of the species.

If you have a bunch of families living together, you need family names to distinguish different families from each other, and you need first names to distinguish different individuals within that family.

Systems with two, three, and four names are all common. One name is also not too rare (notably in Indonesia). Most USA citizens have three names. Many Mexican and Spanish citizens have four names.

Why are video game final enemies always called ‘the boss’?

Video game bad guys generally are all part of the same organization. So when you reach the final bad guy he is usually the one who has been organizing all the other bad guys. So that would make him their boss.
So in games where you are fighting an organization or maybe an army, the final boss is literally “the boss” of all your enemies. That particular plot is pretty common so it just became common to call the bigger bad guys “bosses”.
Early arcade games, particularly Contra, Double Dragon and Kung Fu literally called them “the boss” in the game and in the instruction manual. After that it stuck.

Where did the social expectation of only girls wearing dresses come from?

About three thousand years ago, men who were going into the field to work, or going to battle would “gird up their loins” by taking the hems of their robes, and tying them up around their legs like pants.
This continued for quite a while, then the styles started to change. Robes became dresses over time, and pants became the norm for those that went out to work and fight. Being that peasant women stayed on the homestead for a majority of their lifetimes, there was no need for pants.
Also, in the past pants were more expensive than dresses, because sewing wise, dresses are extremely simple (not modern ones), while pants are more complex. So you used pants only if needed and usually they were useful for the manly works, while all the women stuff was easily doable also with dresses, so there wasn’t need for expensive, more complex and so more prone to breaking pants.
From that, it stemmed the conception that dresses aren’t manly, so the style evolved with that.

Why do only females of the species raise offspring?

The majority of species in the world are actually insects, and predominantly don’t raise their young at all. Those that do are normally hive based creatures, who often use male drones to provide most of the care of the eggs. 
Avian species mostly have both parents performing support roles.
The case of the question mostly applies to mammals, and the reason is that only the female has mammary glands, meaning that for new borns the division of labour is guaranteed to be the female providing sustenance. 
The primary goal of most species is to reproduce as many offspring as possible and preferably with different females for genetic diversity. In order to maximize the efficiency, males continue to mate and the females are left behind to carry the offspring.
The goal for the males is to make as many offspring as possible so fostering the children is simply not in their consideration.
Let’s consider humans. The top 150 fastest men are all still faster than the fastest woman. Strength plays out similarly.
That is just speed and strength. There are other advantages men have physically. All thanks to how we are built and our hormonal makeup. Women could go out and hunt and gather, but it would make more sense for the men to do it considering they’re built for that sort of action.
This is not to say men are superior. It is just biology. Women are more suited for raising offspring.